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Mike Edwards

Most of my work has its roots in the harsh African landscape, a landscape carved by wind and rain with growth forms of visual splendour but often also menacing in their thorny struggle to survive; a landscape that reflects so strongly the diversity, intolerance and precariousness of our African life. I try to reflect and express my concern, joy and despair in and of our Africanism in my sculpture 'things'. I cast in bronze, having worked up my forms in clay. Others are fabricated in stainless steel that I beat and bend, weld and grind to achieve my forms, leaving tool marks (like brush strokes in painting). Yet others I fabricate and laminate in wood, once again gluing, interlocking and leaving tool marks to heighten both the visuality and the impact of light. In all these I enjoy contrasting highly polished surfaces against darker machined, carved or scraped, textured surfaces; sharp edges against flat or concave surfaces; sharp points leading to dark mystery. Over the years I have also been a keen portraitist. With my portraits I have always tried to balance the likeness of the sitter with the plastic quality of the medium, and the overall sculptural silhouettes of the whole. For me, light on the surfaces gives life and movement to the forms. I enjoy finding and exploring the infinite variety found in the human facial structure, and equally enjoy the plasticity of clay and the fun in developing profile upon profile to try and freeze a personally perceived moment. The ?fun? of course goes hand in hand with intense concentration, unending searching and struggle!